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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1484..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Procurement Board, the development of purchasing guidelines and their proposed issue as procurement guidelines by the board in the future, and the development of a whole-of-government procurement accreditation system scheduled for implementation in mid-2001. In addition, since that time the Public Access to Government Contracts Bill 2000 has been passed by the Legislative Assembly and implemented by the government.

The proposed Government Procurement Board will be able to issue procedures for application across all ACT government agencies, including statutory authorities and territory-owned corporations. In issuing policies and guidelines it is expected that the Government Procurement Board will have regard to the circumstances of territory-owned corporations and government business enterprises. In anticipation of the passage of the Government Procurement Bill 2001, the government has established an interim procurement board. The interim board has already started work towards the implementation of an accreditation system for procurement expertise in government agencies.

In summary, Mr Sherman has given the ACT government an excellent report card. Substantial reforms have taken place and the implementation of the coroner's recommendations has been achieved over the past 12 months. Matters referred to by Mr Sherman in relation to the responsibility of the new Government Procurement Board will be referred to the board as soon as possible for action.

Mr Speaker, it is tragic that Katie Bender died on 13 July 1997 at the demolition of the Royal Canberra Hospital. The loss suffered by the Bender family was great. I am sure that all members of this place would continue to extend their sympathies to them. We might expect that the time needed for a person or family to repair from such a personal tragedy to be long. The time in which a government should respond to and correct the failings that led to the death of Katie Bender, in comparison, should be finite.

The government has taken real and practical steps to deal with and ensure that the failings found by the coroner are not repeated. As noted by Mr Sherman, the government has introduced substantial reforms in project management, demolition safety and contracting. Through these reforms and the remaining matters to be dealt with by the Government Procurement Board, the government will ensure that we rise to the challenge identified by Mr Sherman of ensuring that proper policies and procedures apply, are observed and continue to be observed by all government bodies.

Papers

Mr Humphries presented the following papers:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to subsection 26 (4)-Consolidated Financial Management Report for the month and financial year to date ending 31 March 2001.

Utilities Act 2000-Exemption from requirement for a relevant licence for electricity, gas, water and sewerage services, dated 3 May 2001, together with an explanatory statement (unnumbered).


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